WASHINGTON (KDKA/AP) – President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House for a historic second time Wednesday, charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.
With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, egged on by the president’s calls for them to “fight like hell” against the election results.
Ten Republicans fled Trump, joining Democrats who said he needed to be held accountable and warned ominously of a “clear and present danger” if Congress should leave him unchecked before Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20.
Trump is the only U.S. president to be twice impeached. It was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in modern times, more so than against Bill Clinton in 1998.
While the vote was bipartisan across the country, all Pennsylvania Democrats voted to impeach the president for inciting violence at the Capitol, and all the Republicans voted against.
The only member from the Pittsburgh area to speak on the floor was Congressman Guy Reschenthaler, a Peters Township Republican. He defended the president’s action last week, saying if you look at the criminal code, the president’s words wouldn’t meet the definition of incitement under criminal statutes.
He also said the president had urged attendees to peacefully make their voices heard, never saying anything about violence.
Congressman Mike Kelly, the other local Republican who voted against impeachment, said earlier in the week he thought the whole thing was foolish because there wasn’t time to remove President Trump before the end of his term next Wednesday.
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Both local Democrats, Congressmen Conor Lamb and Mike Doyle, said the president had to be accountable no matter how late in the day.
Lamb put out a statement saying the impeachment vote was bipartisan because it wasn’t about politics, it was about public safety.
Doyle said it’s an open and shut case, with the facts clear that President Trump incited the Capitol attack with the intention of overturning the results of the Electoral College.
Now it all goes to the Senate.
Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey released a statement saying he stands by his statements about the role President Trump played in the deadly riot. He told Fox News earlier this week he believes the president committed impeachable offenses.
In his statement following the impeachment vote, Toomey said Trump will be out of office before a Senate impeachment trial can begin and whether the Senate has the constitutional authority to hold an impeachment trial for a president no longer in office is “debatable.”
He says he’ll consider arguments from the House manager and President Trump’s lawyers.